Throughout my travels I have seen a lot and observed many things. Living abroad means constantly see and observe the different. With time, your own culture and your compatriots seem to become different to you too. That’s either because you changed, or because looking from the outside you see things better, or in a different way. Maybe both.
Seeing my Brazilian friends traveling, having some of them visiting Munich once in a while, or even by just walking around town alone and hearing that language I know too well, I can’t help but notice how they behave as tourists. It makes me think that I probably was once just the same, in some cases maybe I still am.
Gathering my observations, I couldn’t help but make a list of things that makes up the typical Brazilian tourist. Typical as in the majority, not as in everyone, we all know generalization isn’t something cool or effective to apply, but we also know that there are tendencies. So what do most Brazilians like or tend to do while traveling?
Loves the clichés
You know, taking a picture pretending to hold the Pisa tower, paying an absurd just to make sure they will ride a gondola in Venice, having a beer in Germany even if he/she doesn’t like beer, having a waffle in Belgium even though there are waffles in other countries too, riding a bike in Amsterdam even though he/she can do it in other European countries too.
Clichés are not a bad thing. I do it too. The difference is: that’s not all I do. I love doing the off-the-beaten-path; they mean much more to me than the usual things most Brazilians care about doing.
Prefers popular destinations
If the city is not well known by other Brazilians, why bother going there? No one will know what you are talking about anyways. But Paris, London, New York, Barcelona, everyone knows it’s awesome. And what about San Gimignano? Regensburg, Tours, Pilzen? Unless it’s already part of the tour, they would probably never be included on the itinerary.
Brazilians are very communicative, and love to express what they feel. They do it so often that they don’t even notice how loud they can be most of the time. On the bus, on the streets, on the stores. Often I see them shopping around Munich, and screaming each other’s name: “MARIA LOOK, ISN’T THAT WHAT YOU WERE LOOKING FOR?”
Crazy about an outlet
It’s rare to meet a Brazilian tourist not aiming for shopping, it doesn’t matter what. Souvenirs, clothing, bags, shoes, perfume and all the things that is expensive to buy in Brazil. Mentioning the outlet word will make their eyes shine. You should see a Brazilian shopping at an outlet in the US, pure joy!
Why is that? All foreign brands are very expensive in Brazil, especially electronic goods and clothing.
Loves American brands
The Brazilian taste is very influenced by what’s on in the US in a way or another. In Brazil, fashion, beauty and electronic products, music and food are some ways Brazilians are influenced by the Americans. Brands like Hollister, Abercrombie & Fitch, Tommy Hilfiger, Polo Ralph Lauren, to name a few, are the most beloved ones.
Misses Brazilian food after the 2nd day
For Brazilians not used to be abroad, the food is something that bothers them very much. One day is already enough to make them miss Brazilian food, hard to find in other countries.
If the food isn’t good, then MC Donald’s is the salvation
Oh well, and if they can’t manage to find food they like, MC Donald’s is always the option: cheap, the same everywhere, found in every corner.
Likes to take pictures in front of famous brand’s stores
Ok, I did that a few times on my first trip abroad ever. Living in Brazil is not every day that you stand in front of a huge Louis Vuitton store. Of course, nowadays I am ashamed of that and can’t help it but laugh at myself. However, I still see lots of Brazilians doing that; I even take the picture for them when they ask.
Is a bit lazy
Most Brazilians don’t really like planning their trips, they like having it all ready for them. A private guide, a personalized package tour, why bother doing everything by yourself if you can have it all done by someone else? And if they have a friend living abroad, even better, they will rely on he/she to take them everywhere. They also prefer not to walk long distances or climb stairs, the shorter the way the better. Can I call this laziness?
In today’s world who doesn’t? Maybe myself. But in Brazil the thing with selfies is getting crazy, even if they have someone to take the picture for them, a selfie always looks better! I wonder if one day we won’t laugh at the selfies and think that they are outdated.
Makes conversion all the time
The Brazilian currency, Real, is cheaper than the Dollar and Euro, now with the crisis going on in the country, even more. When Brazilians are abroad, everything they buy or think of buying, get the price converted to Real. “OMG this Coke just cost us R$10”.